PHR has been documenting incidents of human rights abuses and mass atrocities in Libya since 2008. In June 2011, PHR sent an investigative team to the coastal city of Misrata shortly after it was liberated by rebel forces. Our report “Witness to War Crimes: Evidence from Misrata, Libya” provides evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, torture, rape, forced internment, and disappearances. Following these findings, as well as the discovery of mass graves and mass killing sites in Libya, PHR called for the protection of all evidence and witnesses so that war crimes could be fully investigated.
PHR also investigated severe human rights violations committed by under Muammar Qaddafi’s rule during the 2011 uprising that eventually tended his 42-year-long autocratic rule. In September 2011, PHR investigators went to Tripoli to investigate allegations of mass murder, resulting in our report “32nd Brigade Massacre: Evidence of War Crimes and the Need to Ensure Justice and Accountability in Libya.” Evidence in this report elicits a pattern of crimes including murder, torture, rape, and unlawful confinement of civilians and combatants at a warehouse in Tripoli, which soldiers under Qaddafi forces used as a makeshift detention facility.
In August 2011, PHR called for the international community’s intervention in Libya in preventing further human rights abuses. PHR continues to advocate for the prosecution of those responsible for human rights abuses and mass atrocities as well as the need for continued work for identifying those who disappeared during the 2011 conflict.